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The natural progress of time has brought to their close the labours of the year. Those in which the Editors of this Miscellany have been engaged have been labours, pleasant to themselves; and the continued and increased patronage extended to their Journal convinces them that they have also been acceptable to their supporters and friends. Their devout acknowledgments are due to the Father of mercies, the Giver of all good, for the measure of fuccess with which he has condescended, in his providence, to sustain and 'imulate their efforts. They well know that without him nothing is wise,
thing is strong, nothing is holy; and they trust they have neither been una nindful of the necessity of his blessing to prosper their work, nor unsolicitbus to obtain it. If they have contributed to the diffusion of just principles, f they have increased the amount of scriptural knowledge, if they have ided in the formation of virtuous character, if they have encouraged or irected the developement of latent energies, and occupied themselves as abourers, humble it is admitted, but yet conscientious, and willing labourers, i the best of causes, the cause of truth and of God, they must rejoice; and kpress their feelings in unfeigned thanksgiving to Him who has thus accepted eir well intentioned zeal. To their able correspondents, and to their numerous readers, who have in friendly a manner given their assistance and support, they must also acnowledge the sense they entertain of their kindness. But to the latter they ust they may appeal, without exposing themselves to the imputation of anity, for an acknowledgment in return, which they have little doubt would te cheerfully made, that they have derived an adequate compensation for heir expenditure, in the instruction, information, and pleasure which these Lonthly pages have conveyed. They may be permitted to solicit attention two or three points in particular.
Their readers, they think, must have perceived that it has been an object f solicitude with the Editors to maintain in the principal departments of heir work a strain of thought, and a style of composition, in some measure orrespondent with what they rejoice to know is the advancing state of knowpdge, taste, and literary acquisition in the denomination. At the same time bey can confidently assert that no principle by which they are distinguished, ither in common with Christians at large, or as differing from them in certain eculiarities of sentiment and practice, has been sacrificed to what is in some uarters deemed the suspicious--not to say spurious--liberality of the times. Chey have no sympathy with those who seem willing to forego their own enets as Dissenters, in order to assist in re-edifying a fundamentally kuefficient and corrupt establishment. A state religion is something which they profess, and profess very sincerely, not to understand. In their judgment it is a solecism; and, with the views they entertain of the essential nature of Christianity, it must ultimately purify itself from all such adhesions. Towards good men, of all parties, they cherish the warm-hearted charity of fraternal affection; but for bad principles, wherever they are found, they wish to feel nothing but unconquerable dislike.
Much that appears to them to be a departure from the simplicity, spirituality, and generous temper of the Primitive Christians, exists among their own body. To that body they are conscientiously, and therefore firmly attached. They believe it to approximate, in its leading doctrines and ecclesiastical polity, as near to the churches founded by the apostles as any other existing community; and in its distinctive practice to come incomparably nearer. They consequently prefer it. But they are not blind, and they desire that they may never be blind to its defects, while it has defects to be observed, and capable of being remedied. What these are, this cannot be the place to set forth. They will only say that while they enjoy, as at present, the patronage of the Denomination, or of an influential and increasing portion of it—though their work arrogates not to be its“ authorized representative"they will not cease to use the confidence reposed in them, to improve its character, and to extend and consolidate its interests.
Their sentiments on those points upon which a difference of opinion obtains in the body are not unknown; they have never been concealed, and
perhaps in future they may be more ostensibly produced. If, however, the Editors should henceforth observe a less rigid neutrality than hitherto they have, they mean not to advocate their views in any other than a charitable temper, and most carefully will they avoid coming into unfriendly collision with those who, though they differ from them totally on the disputed topic, are their brethren and fellow-labourers in the cause of Christ.
Among the hopeful indications of the present period, none is entitled to take precedence of the feeling which began last year to discover itself, and which we believe is still, though with less of observation, deepening, and extending through the great body of the Evangelical Dissenters of this country. It will at once be understood that reference is made to the necessity of a revival of religion in our churches, and of the more copious effusion of the Holy Spirit's grace in order to induce it. Many valuable publications have appeared on the subject, which have found their commendation in the pages of this Miscellany. And, in addition to these notices, a considerable portion of its columns has been devoted distinctly to a series of papers, in which it has been pressed, in a variety of forms, upon public attention. Nor, looking at the subject in the light they do, will the Editors desist from taking every fit opportunity of recurring to it. They invite their correspondents, and especially their brethren in the ministry, to its prolonged and more intense consideration; assured, as they feel, that a general and very large augmentation of religion at home, will either precede or be coincident with its uuiversal diffusion abroad. The population of our own country is yet to a most melancholy extent in an unchristianized, that is, in an unconrrted state. And by what means is the desired change to be effected ? The means are preeminently in our hands. We are fettered byono formulas, and tied down by no authorized and exclusive modes of action. We can go in freedom, and carry the gospel to the great mass of the people ;-to the labourers in the manufactory, to the agriculturalists in the villages, to the poor, to the outcast, to the vicious. We have no expensive and complicated machinery to take with us, and we need none. Like the Master we serve, we can stand upon the mount, or by the sea side, or on the banks of the river, or in the streets and lanes of the city, and discourse of “the common salvation." And why are we not doing this? The question is proposed, not of course to be discussed here, but to fix the minds of our brethren upon it, and to hold out to them the friendly summons to consider what answer ought to receive.
In that portion of their Work which is devoted to Reviews, the Editors have aimed to pronounce impartially upon the claims of authors, whose books have come under their notice. Nor have they been satisfied with simply doing this. In many instances, when the importance of the subject seemed to require it, they have freely expressed their own opinions, and supported them by illustration and argument. This they will continue to do; speaking with frankness, with independence, and with truth:-frankness, they mean, without the obtrusiveness of vulgarity, independence without the prido of dogmatism, and truth without the narrowness of party.
They now commit their work to their friends and to the world ; from the one they have every thing to hope, from the other they have little to fear; while their object is the diffusion of just sentiments and liberal feelings, and while they aim to promote the happiness of their readers through the medium of pure religion, of useful knowledge, and of compositions which it may be both pleasant and instructive to read, they are in no apprehension of wanting support. And, above all, they commend their efforts to the God of infinite mercy, imploring upon them his benediction; and, in a spirit of the most sincere and enlarged benevolence, to Him they commend also the whole church. Their personal attachments and peculiar principles, much as they value them, shall not freeze the current of their generous affections, nor narrow the channel in which Christian charity would bid it flow. In the beautiful and devout language of Jeremy Taylor they therefore close their prefatory remarks,“ O let thy mercy descend upon the whole church, preserve her in truth and peace, in unity and safety, in all storms, and against all temptations and enemies: that she, offering to thy glory the never-ceasing sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving, may advance the honour of her Lord, and be filled with his Spirit, and partake of his glory.”
INDEX TO AUTHORS AND ARTICLES REVIEWED.
Abbey of Innismoyle, 198.
Erskine's Unconditional Freeness of the
Abolition of Slavery, plan for, 26.
Affection's Offering for 1829, 26.
Ewing's Memoir of Barbara Ewing, 468.
Finch's Elements of Self Knowledge, 23,
Ford's Hymns on the Parables, 339.
Anthony's (Miss Susanna) Life and Expe. Fuller's Child's Scripture Examiner, 291.
Annuals for 1830,
Gibb's Defence of the Baptists, 153.
Goode's Memoir of the Rev. W. Goode,
The Juvenile Forget-me-Not, ib.
Good's, Rev. I. E., Forty-Five Lectures,
Hale's Knowledge of Christ Crucified, 112.
Bath, Case of the Baptist Church at, 428. Hamilton's Letters on Catholic Emancipa-
Baxter's Mischiefs of Self-Ignorance, 112. tion, 105.
Baxter's Reformed Pastor, 242.
Hargreaves on Religious Fasts, 26.
Bayne's Sermon for the Rev. Mr. Winter. Henry's (Rev. T. C.) Difficulties of Re-
Belfrage's Counsels for the Sanctuary, Hewlett's Scripture Natural History, 68,
Hinton on Ministerial Qualifications, 66.
Booth's Pædobaptism Examined, 60. Hinton on the Means of a Religious Re-
Burder's Paternal Discipline, 199. History of the Christian Church, 511.
Burton's Diary of Oliver and Richard History of the Jews, 467.
Cameron's Token for Children, 429. Jarrour’s Faithful Minister of Religion,
Carpenter on Scripture Difficulties, 239. Illustrations of Prophecy, 230.
Carpenter's Lectures on Biblical Criticism, Johnstone's Specimens of the Poets, 190.
Chalmers' Christian Defence, 336. Jones' (Mr. W.) Christian Biography, 427.
Irving's Sermons and Lectures, 500.
Cobbin's Child's Commentator, 159. Judson's Scripture Questions, 291, 470.
Collinson's Sermon for the Rev. M. Wilks,
Knowle's Memoirs of Mrs. Judson, 283.
Cramp on the Signs of the Times, 291.
Defence of the Students of Prophecy, 65. Lectures at the London University, 62.
Dobson's Sermon on the Reformation, 290. Leifchild's Help to the Reading of the
Doddridge's Discourses on Regeneration, Scriptures, 113.
Letters from Nova Scotia, 516.
Library of Entertaining Knowledge, 509.
Doncaster's Friendly Hints, 114.
London Quarterly Review, 187.
Dore's Sermons on Baptism, 246.
Lloyd's Teacher's Manual, 516.
Edwards' Narrative of the Revival of Re. Maclaurie's Life of James Wait, 339.
Maddock's Report of the Discussions at
Mann's Lectures on Ecclesiastical History, Ridley's Treatises and Letters, 246.
Rowles's Nadabar, and other Poems, 285.
Mann's Memorials of Christian Friend-
Sabbath Scholar's Friend, 470.
Matthias' Domestic Education, 512. Salathiel, 151.
Memoir of John Frederic Oberlin, 375. Scott's, Rev. John, History of the Church,
Secker's Non-such Professor, 429.
Methodist (Wesleyan) Controversy, 411.
Sheppard's Two Discourses, 378.
Morris's History of the Church, 324. Shower on Time and Eternity, 243.
Morrison's Monthly Bible Class Boo, Smith, Dr. J. P., Answer to Robert'Taylor,
Spencer's Twenty-One Sermons, 246.
Natural History of Enthusiasm, 277, 328. Stanley's Calendar of Prophecy, 417.
New Model of Christian Missions, 421,
Nicholson's Sermon on Confirmation, 469. Thomson's Matilda's Birth-Day, 339.
Thornton's Counsels for Youth, 332.
Tom Telescope's Newtonian Philosophy,
Palmer's Select Pocket Divinity, 339. Visits to the Religious World, 332.
Parkins' Exposure of Despotism, 114.
Persuasion to Religious Decision, 339. Whateley on the Difficulties in St. Paul's
Prophecy, Independent Monthly Lec- Writings, 372.
Wilbur's Reference Testament, 388.
Reid's Sermon for the Rev. M. Wilks, 196. Williams' Memoirs of Mrs. Savage, 68.